Egypt’s top Islamic religious authority is warning women against marrying fighters from the Islamic State group, issuing a statement Wednesday that such unions would push them into a “circle of terrorism,” Agence France-Presse reports. Dar al-Ifta, the state-sponsored body that issues rulings based on Sunni Islamic law, said its call was prompted by ISIS’ online efforts to coax women into marrying its fighters “through video conferences.”
"Dar al-Ifta warns girls from adhering to these calls that go against Shariah," the religious body said in a statement Wednesday, referencing Islamic law. Heeding ISIS’ calls would push these women into "the circle of extremism and terrorism through illegitimate marriages that neither please Allah or his prophet," it added.
ISIS’ online recruitment targeting young people is now troubling governments around the world. Authorities in Britain said they were “concerned about the number of girls and young women who have or are intending to travel to the part of Syria that is controlled by the terrorist group calling themselves Islamic State,” after three teenage girls from London apparently traveled to Syria to join ISIS last month, ABC reported.
The terror group is aggressively recruiting women and luring them to Syria by presenting a false narrative of what life is like in the country, Michael Steinback, the head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, told CNN in an interview. "We have seen everything from a female fighter -- dedicated groups of women fighters -- and those who have come over to support foreign fighters by marrying them," he said. The recruitment is largely taking place online, where Twitter accounts supposedly belonging to women living under ISIS rule paint a rosy picture of day-to-day life and urge others to come join, according to ABC.
Some countries, including Egypt, have imposed restrictions on young men from traveling to Turkey and Libya in an attempt to prevent them from joining ISIS. But Egypt does not have a similar ban for women.